The provincial government loosened the restrictions on retailers this week. I took the opportunity to drive out to Sail Ottawa to shop for some fishing supplies. I needed some size eight fish hooks, and some drop shot sinkers and a replacement spinning rod. Somehow I broke the tip off of one of my spinning rods, even though it was safely stored in a carrying case. I found the fish hooks and sinkers quickly enough. With the help of a sales associate, I found a replacement spinning rod that fit in my price range. “Mission accomplished,” I thought, but as I headed for the staircase to check out with my fishing supplies, I cast a glance to the hunting section and all the rifles and shotguns on display. “There is no harm in stopping to browse,” I mused. I made my way to the firearms counter and asked the associate behind the counter what he had in left-hand bolt action rifles.
He told me they have a range of models and calibres available in left-hand bolt action rifles. He asked what calibre did I have in mind–did I want something for bigger game like moose. I told him I have a Tikka T3 in 300 WSM and a Browning X-bolt Medallion in 30-06, both in left-hand. He showed me a nice Browning A-bolt in .270 Win Magazine; it is an excellent rifle but more than I can afford right now. He found a Savage Axis left-hand bolt action rifle in .270 Win that cost less than $400. I asked if I could handle the gun, and he retrieved it from the rack for me. I held it to my shoulder and looked down the barrel. I liked the fit–though the rifle lacks the elan of higher-end guns. The rifle has a box magazine–though it concerned me that I could not release the magazine. The associate tried to remove the magazine, either. I came to the brink of telling him, “never mind,” but I noticed that the magazine was inserted improperly. I made a slight adjustment to the magazine, and it came out quickly. To be sure, the associate took the magazine from another rifle and inserted and removed it a few times. With that matter settled, I decided to purchase the rifle.
As the associate processed the paperwork for the transaction, he discovered that the rifle was on sale for $80 off the regular price. The price was reduced to $319.99; it came to $361.59 with taxes. I am on a tight budget currently, but I can afford this rifle. Before committing to buy the rifle, I checked for reviews online on my cell phone. I found the rifle is lauded as the right choice for the budget-minded hunter. It is a sturdy and reliable platform and well-suited for deer hunting. I have a Remington Model 700 left-hand bolt action in .270 Win at home. It is a higher-end model, and I like it. I shot a coyote with it from my deer stand last season. Adding a second rifle in .270 Win to my collection gives me a more comprehensive range of rifles to choose from when I take to the field. I still need to equip the new rifle with the right optic. My friend and hunting buddy Jason Quinn will help me select the optic and install it for me. Once that is done, we will take the new rifle to the range and see how well I can shoot with it. I hope I can get a functional grouping at 100 yards.
As I drove home from my shopping expedition, I called Jason–using the Bluetooth in my Jeep–and told him about the new rifle I bought. He congratulated me on the purchase, telling me it is a good buy, and yes, he will happily help me find and install the optic. He told me I should buy Weaver Grand Slam Steel Scope Rings in high and two 46M bases for starters. I will order the bases online as my trips to Sail and Cabela’s invariably end with me spending far more than I intended. Still, I succeeded in reining in my temptation to spend a great deal more on a higher-end rifle and came home with my new Savage Axis left-hand bolt action rifle in .270 Win. Not only that, but Jason also assured me I made a good buy in the process. While I may have difficulty in withstanding temptation when browsing the firearms counter at Sail, I think I came out ahead this time.
Posted by Geoffrey